Category Archives: Home Improvement

Winter Home Improvement Tips

Most people wouldn’t think of the end of the fall or early winter for home improvements, but making small home improvements can save you big on your home energy costs this winter.

Let’s look at some winter Home Improvement ideas:

The fireplace – Getting our fireplace ready will certainly yield to better savings. Make sure that the dumper is tightly sealed when not using it. A small space would let the cold air rush in and send the warm air out. If you are using an electric heating system, an opening in the fireplace will mean a lot more work to maintain a warm, energy efficient home.

When you decide to use the fireplace, you can turn down your heater. This will save you as much as 8% on heating cost.

The furnace – The furnace will work extra effort if the filter is full of dirt. This will equate to home energy waste since the furnace will consume more power against the service it brings. To avoid this, make sure that your filter is clean. The owner’s manual will tell you how to clean the filter. A clean filter will let you breath clean air around your house. A clean filter saves you 5% on heating cost.

The duct – Small leaks in the duct will certainly result in lost heat so make sure that this is regularly checked. Insulate the ducts by wrapping it with R-6 or higher fiberglass. Never use cloth-backed tapes. You can also wrap them with UL-approved metallic or plastic tapes and mastic sealants. Note that leaking ducts make your heating system work 30% more so make sure they are sealed and secured.

Solar heat – You don’t need to have solar panels on your roof to use the sun as a source of heat. All you have to do is use open your drapes during the day to warn your room without using electricity. Just close them at night to keep the warn air inside. Reduction of the use of heating system during the day will let you cut as much as 10% on your home energy consumption. Now that’s being efficient!

Openings – Openings around your doors, windows, and joints will let cold air outside come in and the warm air from your home go out. Make sure that these openings are sealed with either sealant or weatherstripping. It will help reduce the work of the heating system immensely.

The Thermostat – A programmable thermostat or a centralized heating system will let you save on heating costs. The programmable thermostat will let you set your desired at a specific period of the day. This is very useful if you are leaving your home or are going to sleep overnight. The centralized heating system on the other hand will give you the ultimate control of the temperature of every room. These 2 will let you decide how warm any one room can be. One interesting thing to note is that a centigrade lower on your heating system will let you save as much as 5% on your heating cost.

Many people neglect to truly prepare their homes for the winter season, and as a result, they pay for it big time in sky rocketed utility bills. Why? Because you need to warm you home and that doesn’t come cheap these days. This consumes the biggest portion of our electric bill. Fortunately, there are measures we can take to lower our utility bills during the winter season.

But for those who are conscious enough to notice, winter means larger electric bills. Yes, it is true. Aside from summer, winter is the season of the year where your electric bills skyrocket to digits that cost you financial burden.

Home Improvements

Home improvement is a very popular past time for home owners for a number of simple reasons, for starters you of course want a beautiful and enjoyable home environment; small repairs and improvements are just little steps on the way to accomplishing this, which can aid you in enjoying your home life a little more, and seeing the visual improvements to our property’s appearance can provide us with a great sense of self satisfaction. Small home improvements can also be a great idea for anyone looking to sell their home as they can improve the value of the home and help you to find a buyer faster.

Many home owners put off the idea of investing in home improvement because they consider it to be such a costly processes, however there are a number of ways of improving your home without a particularly large budget. The main investment would be your tools – buying high quality tools might be a little bit of a high cost process, however it does ensure that the tools last and perform the tasks they need to effectively. In the long run this does work out cheaper; buying one set of tools that will last you a lifetime rather than buying several sets of tools, each of which only last a few months.

Home Improvement is particularly important if you’re trying to sell your home as most buyers will overestimate the cost of work on the property and reduce their offer on the property considerably more than they should really need to. Having the obvious tasks done and improving the general appearance of the property will encourage buyers not only to make an offer but also to make a higher offer. Think of yourself as a buyer and walk around you home making a list of the things that look bad, or if you’re feeling too biased towards your much loved home ask a friend to do it, then work through the list of things either fixing it, cleaning it or replacing it. If you are looking to sell then stick to light, new, clean looks; simplicity and elegance sell better than something suited to your own individual taste, but of course if you are looking to improve but not sell your house you can comfortably decorate it in any style that suits you.

Start on the outside; often cleaning up your garden and the entrance to your home will cost very little but could make a huge difference. Cut the lawn, pull the weeds, clean the path, trim the plants, clean your windows and doors and perhaps give things a fresh coat of paint. Most of this requires a little bit of work on your part rather than needing you to spend any money but it can make a huge difference to the impression people have when they enter your home.

Make sure things are kept clean and organised inside your home. People, particularly buyers, hate clutter. If you’re trying to sell move your stuff into storage until you have your next home; leave only enough to make the property look liveable. Buyers often have trouble seeing themselves in a home and take inspiration from the way the space was used previously, they can feel rather lost and intimidated when looking at a completely empty home and may be put off. Of course if you’re home improvements are for yourself sell some of the old clutter you no longer need, this will give you more space and freedom.

One popular home improvement that can make a huge difference to a home is the addition of storage space. Lots of people have experienced the problem of not having anywhere to put all of your things. Getting new fitted wardrobes built into your bedroom is rather expensive, however shelves are relatively cheap and can add a lot of storage space; thinking about filling one wall with storage units like bookcases to provide a home office or library feel and provide a lot more space. Removing any wallpaper and adding a fresh coat of paint can make the space look new, stick to lighter colours to make your home appear brighter and bigger, this in itself will aid in adding to the value of a home.

Home Improvement and Home Remodeling

Everyone wants their house to be beautiful. We all would love to do a whole new makeover on our house and make it brand new. In fact, most people would love to build a brand new, from scratch, gorgeous house; designing everything exactly the way we would want it to be. This is not always a realistic option, but it is a nice dream.

It may seem like all the neighbors on your block are moving out; headed to bigger and better places, while you stay in the exact same house you have been in for decades. Or, they may stay put, but they knock down their already giant houses and start building from scratch. This may make your one hundred and fifty year old house look decrepit and like a small fish next to these new and improved giant sharks. At the very least, your neighbors are probably doing some home remodeling that leaves their interior looking like a small museum. How do you live like this? How can you watch all these football fields being built and still feel good about yourself? It’s not easy. Luckily, there are home improvements and home remodeling that you too can do without taking out a second mortgage.

If you go through each room in your house and make a list of what you want fixed up, eventually it will. Pick certain things that are priority and then get started. There are many things you can do yourself that does not warrant hiring people; fixing broken objects and throwing out the non-fixable ones is a way to start. This makes a difference you can not realize until it is done. It is the perfect way to start; as it paves the way for everything else, and enables you to see what you need new.

This is how you start; by doing the small home improvements even a little remodeling. Then, if your wallet allows it, you can move on to the bigger home remodeling.

Start with the things that can not last any longer. If your blinds and windows in your living room are cracked and broken; that is a great place to start. If there is plumbing issues in the bathroom; that is also a great starter. Then, move on to see how your walls in the house look. You would be surprised what a paint job and new blinds can do for the look in your house. Another big one is carpeting; either new or ripping it up and laying down new floors. That is a tremendous difference in the interior of your house. These few things are the starting points for all your rooms. They can make a world of a difference in the way your house looks; while at the same time it is much more affordable than completely renovating.

Once you have finished the smaller jobs, you can see that there really are not as many big jobs as you thought; because they all go hand in hand. Of course, once you want to move onto bigger things, you can start knocking down walls and completely remodeling each room.

Cheap Online Home Improvement Loan

A house is no longer just a place where one stays together with the family but has become a symbol of status now. Changes are eminent and are taking place every moment. Everyone wish that their home should look better then that of their neighbor’s. But, what stops one from making changes at home is the lack of adequate funds. Is it the same with you? But, where to get the funds from which can finance your home improvement project.

Monthly income and limited savings are not sufficient to finance the improvements one wish to make in their home. Relatives and friends can be approached to fill in the cash need but are you ready to face the embarrassment. Thanks to cheap online home improvement loan which can work as a perfect solution to your cash need and that too at low cost.

Home improvements that one wishes to make at home varies from one homeowner to another. It can be in the form of a new kitchen, bathroom, loft conversion, window replacement, conservatory or any other change which aim to make it a better place to live.

Even a small home improvement requires huge sum of money. A cheap online home improvement loan is a low rate, low cost, cheap and low interest loan which is a perfect alternative to finance home improvements. This loan can finance the home improvement projects which involve investment ranging from £5,000 to £75,000.

A borrower can borrow the loan from the existing mortgage lender. Mortgage loan are secured loan and are popularly known as home equity loan. A mortgage loan is secured against the home of the borrower. Mortgage lender can offer a cheap online home improvement loan for a larger amount and for longer term. Mortgage loan term ranges between 10 to 25 years.

In case, you want to keep your home away from the risk of repossession, you can borrow an unsecured cheap online home improvement loan. This loan does not involve the lengthy process of evaluating the value of the home which takes place in case of mortgage loan. Unsecured cheap home improvement loan carries a higher rate of interest the reason behind this is, that the loan is not secured against any of your property. Loan providers keep credit score into consideration while lending money to borrowers. Better your credit score more are your chances to get a loan at low interest rate at better terms.

The key feature of cheap online home improvement loan is that it offers the convenience to apply for a home improvement loan at lower cost. Modern lenders or online lenders whatever name you may call them have succeeded in overcoming the shortcomings that existed in borrowing loan from traditional lenders. Traditional lenders have enjoyed the monopoly for a long time and ruled the borrowers by charging high interest rate on the money lent until online lenders made entry in the finance market.

Internet has revolutionized the whole finance market. With the growing competition in the finance market, now a borrower can also have say in determining the loan he wishes to borrow and at what rates. One can access infinite number of online lenders with just a few clicks. It is very easy to apply for an online cheap home improvement loan. You are not even required to call them or have to go to meet them personally. Just fill up a small online loan application form and half of the task is done. The lenders will contact you back with the in-principle loan decision within 24 hours. But, do not leave everything on the lender, you need money, make some efforts so that you can get the best cheap online home improvement loan at lowest cost.

What you need to do is to; collect loan quotes from lenders and compare them on the basis of interest rate, loan term and the fees charged by the lender. A thorough comparison will help you find the perfect online cheap home improvement loan that you have been looking for.

Home improvements, minor or major, aim to make home a better place to live. It can also add value to your home which can help you get a better deal against your home when you wish to sell it. Cheap online home improvement loan is the perfect option which can fund your cash need to undertake home improvement project.

Home Improvement on a Budget

Adding value to your home is a great idea, but not every home improvement project will be worth the investment. There are, however, several areas that you can improve greatly without shelling out tons of cash in the process. Most don’t require major home renovation, and many can even be tackled on your own without a lot of expertise or know-how.

Kitchen Facelift
The kitchen is one area where it’s real easy to spend way beyond your home improvement budget. Because of that, many people think that any improvement to their kitchen may mean a major home renovation. That doesn’t have to be the case though!

It doesn’t take a big investment or a lot of time to give your kitchen a lovely facelift. Rather than shelling out for brand new cabinets – or even re-surfacing – try a fresh coat of paint and some cute new door pulls. Some appliances also have removable plates that can be changed out to give your kitchen a bright new look. With very little effort and a minimal investment, you can completely change your kitchen’s appearance.

Flooring Fix
Many people put off anything flooring-related because they’re afraid of the cost. There are some affordable options though. While installing new carpeting or flooring is often left to professionals, there are kits available that make it easy for the uninitiated to install new flooring over an existing covering. This allows you to pay out a minimal amount for materials, while saving hundreds by doing the work yourself.

Of course, if you’re not even ready for a home improvement on the scale of installing new flooring, consider just a good deep cleaning. High-traffic areas in your house will quickly start to look worn and ugly. Rent a carpet cleaner and give that rug a good deep scrubbing. You’ll be amazed what an improvement a little cleaning can make.

Bathroom Beautifiers
Here again, you don’t need a major home renovation to add a little life to a much-used space. Perhaps replacing a few chipped tiles and giving the grout a good cleaning will brighten up a dingy looking bathroom.

If you have a little more to invest, try changing out an old, out-dated sink or toilet for one that is more attractive and efficient. Buy a new bright set of hand towels and toss the old faded ones. Add a shelf or two, or perhaps update your towel and toilet paper holders.

Call in the Pros
Not for major home renovation, necessarily. There are some small things, though, that do require professional help. Over time, fixtures and wiring will age and need to be repaired or replaced. This faithful maintenance shows that you care about your home and reflects on your care for the bigger things.

You may wonder why it’s worth calling a professional to do this particular job. Unless you have the tools and know-how, though, you may end up spending much more time and money than you would by calling someone in to help you.

Promoting a Home Improvement Business

Because the economy is struggling, more small home improvement businesses are struggling to stay afloat. If you are looking for new ideas to promote your business, this article is for you! I will list many of the tactics that I have used to promote my three businesses over the years, as well as two of the newer ones I have found to be very effective!

For those of you who are looking for basic proven Ideas to promote your business, I have listed 10 tried and proven methods below. No one method is going to successful promote a business. Several used in coordination with each other will build a customer base, brand your business, and allow you to gain the new clients that you need.

Proven Traditional Marketing

1) As you run your business day-to-day use well-developed stationary i.e. business cards, letter head, envelopes, and promotional materials with your URL, phone number, and email address on them.

2) Give free, no obligation consultations and estimates to as many potential clients as possible. Even if they do not hire you it will promote referrals.

3) Giving out promotional items (such as pens, hats, and jackets) is a staple promotion for most small home improvement businesses. Get these items, as well as your business cards, in as many hands as possible. Talk to vendors you work with and give them your materials. Post cards and fliers at supermarkets etc.

4) Asking your clients for referrals and permission to put a sign in their yard is a good promotion.

5) Send direct mail: Even small businesses do direct mail campaigns. This can be a costly way to get new clients, but keep it in mind as a proven tool. There are many mailing lists available if you would want to purchase one. Just run “direct mailing lists” with your city or state in any search engine to find the companies selling lists in your area.

6) Newspaper ads and magazines do sell. This is another promotion that costs some investment but usually has a reasonable return.

7) Telemarketing is a dying industry, but it is still used successfully for local business. It must be done in a low-key, low pressure way. I would be very leery of hiring a third-party marketing company now days, but it may be something you would have a few people do from their home.

8) Promote what is unique about you, your business, and your expertise. This should be the basis for your promotional campaigns.

9) Network with others doing similar work in your area.

10) Paint your company information and promotional material on vehicles.

Ways to Promote Your Home Improvement Business Online

Over the last few years I have taken my business promotion largely online with major success. Anyone can master several simple ways to promote any produce, service, or opportunity online. Most potential customers will at least jump online to check for a website and basic information before making any large purchase. Because of this, small businesses that do not have an online presence are getting pushed out of business. All of the promotional techniques below are either free or can be done for a very minimal investment.

Here is a List of Basic Ways to Promote Your Business Online

1) Set up a website for your business

2) Set up a blog. There are countess free blogs or you can build your own.

3) Write articles on free online services such as Ezinearticles.

4) Post on online forums and discussion groups concerning your business

5) Press Releases. Two free ones are PRWeb and PRleap.

6) Advertise on free directories online. There are hundreds of them.

7) Use social networking such as Facebook and Twitter

Another Tool I Have Recently Found

I have recently come across what I believe to be a great promotional tool for any small business. The business is called SentOutCards and you can Google it to find affiliates selling a membership package. It allows small businesses to easily send post cards and greeting cards out to their customers. It’s a great way to get referrals, and promote any small business.

 

Do It Yourself Home Improvement

Home improvement is one of those terms that covers just about anything. Do it yourself home improvement is the process of renovating, remodeling or making additions to one’s home without the use of a contractor. Do it yourself improvements are often performed to raise the asking price of a house before it is sold. Home remodeling can be a costly affair that necessitates some type of financing, however, do it yourself house improvement can often be achieved quite inexpensively.

Remodeling

Do it yourself improvements can include remodeling of a room, a garden or an entire house. A remodeling project, regardless of the size, requires planning and some major decisions so if you’re not up to d-i-y structural remodeling, consider a smaller project such as building a flowerbed out of railroad ties or stacked flagstones. Another easy remodeling project could be to build a garden pond. These small improvements can make a huge visual impact and improve the overall amenity and living space in your garden.

Do It Yourself Kitchen Renovations

A thoughtfully planned, well decorated kitchen is a sound investment in your home. Obviously, kitchen remodeling can be a major renovation project, however there are many do-it-yourself improvements that can be done in the kitchen. Do-it-yourself kitchen remodeling can encompass kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances. Upgrading cabinets, fixtures, and sinks in the kitchen can be daunting but can often be tackled by the home handyman, with a bit of expert advice. And, remember, kitchen (and bathroom) remodeling usually brings greater returns than modifying or adding leisure amenities.

Projects

Often a simple remodeling project can make an ordinary room beautiful. Do it yourself home improvement projects can be as simple as a small repair or repainting a room. Another small, or inexpensive project can be replacing the linoleum or carpet. Generally people categorize home improvement projects by the area where the improvement is located. Remember many projects require a permit from local planning authority. You may need to advise your home insurance company know about your renovations.

Flooring

Home improvements can cover adding new flooring such as carpets, tiling, linoleum, wood flooring, or solid hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is a popular option as a do it yourself home improvement as it is durable, cost effective and easy to install. Vinyl or ceramic tile flooring can cost from $10 dollars to $40 dollars per square yard. Vinyl laminate flooring is ideal for a small budget home improvement job.

Loan

A small do-it-yourself house improvement plan usually does not require financing, however, larger projects often necessitate additional financing, or a house improvement loan. Refinancing refers to paying off the old loans and taking out a new mortgage on your home. The cost of obtaining unsecured loans is comparatively lower than secured loans and an unsecured loan is often advised for small home improvement projects with expenditures of less than $10,000. Secured home improvement loans are usually secured against your home.

Work to a Plan

Remember the old adage, “if you fail to plan you’re planning to fail”? Well, it applies to do it yourself home improvements as much as any other area of life. So take the time to draw up plans and a timetable to achieve your goals. If you find that you need to engage a contractor for any of the remodeling work review the plans and specifications prior to signing any contract. Get formal bids from a short list of three contractors on the same plans and specifications.

Do-it-yourself house improvement is more than just a new coat of paint and can have long term benefits for you and your family. Home improvements are a real investment, producing both a better house in which to live and an increase in the potential resale and value of your home.

Small Home Improvement Contractors

For contractors, the rules of the internet apply just the same as they do for everyone. So, increasing your visibility online requires the same techniques, no matter what industry you are in. You will rank where you rank within Google searches for the same reasons that other companies rank where they rank. If you rank highly, it is likely because your website provides valuable content, among other things.

The best way to increase your ranking with Google as well as other search engines is to provide the visitor of your site with an overall helpful experience. If you think about it, you will almost never open up your browser and type in a URL of a site that is not helpful. You type Google because it helps you search. You type Hotmail because it helps you check your email. You type in CNN because it helps you check the news. People do not visit websites out of charity. They surf the net to look for something.

They are looking for information, products, services and entertainment. So, if your site isn’t truly providing any of these entities to the website visitor, your website will not rank highly. Remember, every search that someone performs is like a test for Google. Google’s and other search engines’ main goal is to provide the most relevant and helpful results for the person who is searching them. Of course, some responsibility will always be put on the searcher to perform a smart search. But, this is a different subject.

Assuming the search keywords are relevant to the intended results, the actual search results should provide what the searcher is looking for. If not, the search engine has failed. To that effect, if people continually perform searches for something and they continually click on the second or third page of the results, these sites will eventually start to rank higher and will likely be on page one of the results before long.

Of course, if people continually click on these sites and then quickly navigate away from the sites, these sites will fall even lower in ranking. This means that people can no longer “trick” the search engines into ranking highly just by receiving pointless clicks or using spamming techniques. If your site is worthless, the visitor will communicate this to Google by clicking away from the site just as fast as he clicked onto it. This in turn diminishes your Google ranking.

So, the question becomes, how do you allow for people to visit your site and then stay on your site. And, again, it all comes back to content. The simple way to look at it is this: If you were searching for the services that your site offers, would your site be of service to you? If not, this is the first issue you need to address. Again, if your site is not helpful, you simply do not stand a chance.

If you think about most successful sites, they provide a certain service or product better than anyone else. Or perhaps they provide information that most other sites do not. Google is the best site for searching online. But perhaps TMZ is the best site for celebrity gossip. eBay is the best auction site while a different site is better for learning how to advertise.

The trick is that almost all of these sites perform one thing and they perform it arguably better than anyone else. This is why they are successful. This is good news for you because this means that in order to rank highly in search engine results, you don’t have to have an all encompassing website about everything. You simply need to have a very helpful website about one thing. Of course, when you look at companies like Google and eBay, you see that the sites are among the most dynamic in the world and that they offer a plethora of services beyond the search and auction genres. But these extra services all branched from their original singular internet functions.

Once you are successful online for providing one service, you can start to use that success to offer other services. In fact, this is the exact formula to be extremely successful online and to stay at the top of your respective online industry.

As a small contractor, you may never compete with national contracting and construction brands and companies. These sites and companies have already established themselves as the leaders in the industry and competing with them online will be about as fruitless as competing with them anywhere else. So, the key is to develop a niche. No matter how “normal” or basic your services may seem, they are always unique in some fashion or another.

You may be a handyman contractor. You may think that there are thousands of handyman service companies competing with you online- and you are right! But maybe you are one of only a few handymen that provides electrical services. Or perhaps you also perform emergency repairs. Maybe you offer a specific discount or a special “limited” material. If nothing else, you probably are only one of a few contractors that work within your given area.

Even if you provide services to a large city or a large geographical area, focusing on the locality of your services will greatly diminish competition from those providing similar services outside of your work radius. So, the main thing is to focus on what you do differently as a company that sets you apart from others. The next thing to do is to write about those things.

We’ll say it again: CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT. If the words are not written on your site, there is no way for Google or other search engines to know what makes your company special. So, using the above handyman example, you would want to blog on your site about using special materials or electrical handyman services. And you would especially want to blog about providing services in you the areas that you do so.

But, you want to avoid simply talking about what your company does or how great you are as a company. After all, a site can only have but so many “about us” pages. People get sick of reading the same things on every similar website. The other thing to remember is that people are always performing informational searches. Try to imagine what people may search for, relevant to the services that you provide.

Let’s say you are a masonry contractor that specializes in block foundations. You can imagine how there may be homeowners or even other contractors that perform online searches for “how to lay block correctly,” or “places to find cheap masonry in (city,USA).” Being an insider, you know the answers to these questions and you could write articles about these topics and post them on your blog/website. Someone performing such a search would eventually land on your site, read your information and then perhaps click on other pages and articles on your site.

This is why it is so important to provide as much content as possible that is relevant to your industry and the services that you provide. You must realize that people that are interested in one topic that they find on your site are probably very interested in other similar topics and if they can find this other information on your site, why wouldn’t they stay on your site longer?

Not everyone that finds your blogs will become a customer. But, just like everything else, it’s a numbers game. The more visitors you get and the longer they stay on your site, the higher your site will start to rank within search engines. In turn, the higher it ranks, the more visitors you will get and the more visitors you get, the more customers you will gain. But, it all starts with providing valuable niche content.

Unfortunately, we cannot tell you exactly what you should blog about. We cannot tell you specifically what your niche market is. But, the good news is that you know your market better than most people. You know what types of questions your customers always ask you and you can bet that these questions are common online searches as well. Essentially, you would be posting answers to these questions on your site. This allows your site to be helpful instead of simply promotional. If your site truly is helpful and useful, this will win out in the long run.

Small Home Improvement Projects

You have decided that you need to take the plunge and do some home remodeling. However, everyone knows that this can be extremely expensive. If you are looking for some smaller tips, then look no further. One way you can update your home’s look without breaking the bank is to install light dimmers. Light dimmers add instant mood to any room, whether that is the entertainment room, dining area, or the bedroom. With dimmers, you get style and functionality in one fell swoop.

Another easy fix is replacing all of your outdoor outlets. Outdoor outlets should resist all types of weather, so if yours are starting to erode, then update to a newer model. You can only enjoy this benefit about half of the year, but it will be worth the money and time. Along the same lines as dimmers, consider new hanging light fixtures. These fixtures can be the central point of your room, so you will want to replace anything that looks like it is from another decade entirely.

To those of you willing to drop a little extra cash, but who still want to remain on the conservative budget side, then think about your appliances, and whether they could do with an update. There are many different energy-friendly appliances that are relatively inexpensive. This will cut into your wallet a little bit more, but the visual side effects are greater as well. Dimmers and outdoor outlets do not have the same effect on a room as new appliances in the kitchen or wash area.

Along the same lines, look at your heating and air conditioning to see if you could use a newer model. Add to the comfort of any room simply by updating the air circulation and flow. This can also include fans, which can be both visually appealing and functional. You can do all these things with minimal strain on your wallet, so go get started. Everything from dimmers and outdoor outlets to green appliances can help give your house a fresh new look.

Home Improvements That Can Make A Big Difference

Every little bit helps when it comes to improving and maintaining your home. Below you will find six improvement tips related to interior painting, conserving energy, and protecting your floors. Keep them handy for when they’re needed.

1. Vacate the room as much as feasible. Though you may be prepared to try to just shove everything into the center of a room and try to paint around it, rather than taking everything out of the room (which can seem like lots of work), leaving your possessions in the room when you paint will make the job more difficult and awkward, and will only risk damaging your possessions with paint drips and splatters.

2. Become familiar with when to use foam brushes and rollers. Foam paint applicators are low priced and can perform a great job. They permit you to buy a complete set of different shapes and sizes for the same price as one or two traditional paint brushes. Foam brushes are perfect for touch-ups and smaller areas. The rollers are perfect for a smooth finish and won’t splatter paint. They’ll break apart on anything other than a smooth surface, though, so don’t use them on a roughly textured wall. You’ll save a lot of money by choosing foam for the right surface.

3. Install solar power panels. Though this is an expensive renovation to start, by setting up solar panel systems on your roof, you’ll put a huge dent in your energy bill. Your home will be cost efficient as a whole. Different models will either produce electricity for your home or be used to produce hot water.

4. Install energy-saving light fixtures. Though energy-saving light fixtures cost about the same as more typical models, they are generally less expensive to install and can save you money over the years by reducing electricity usage. By combining their use with energy-efficient bulbs, you’ll save even more.

5. Sprinkle baking soda on area rugs and carpets. Before you vacuum, lightly dust your rugs and carpets with baking soda. This will help to remove any moisture and can get rid of odors such as those absorbed from food and pets. Just remember that this will fill your vacuum canister or bag more quickly so you’ll need to empty it more often. That said, it will help to increase the life span of your carpet, which will also need fewer steam cleanings, saving you time, money, and energy.

6. Protect floors from your drop cloth by vacuuming. Dust caught between your drop cloth and your wood, laminate, or other types of flooring can cause scratches as though you’d used sandpaper. Save cash and frustration by vacuuming the floors before you lay the drop cloth down on top of them.